Friday, July 11, 2008

My mom is wandering around the house looking for her book, Jessica Queller's Pretty Is What Changes--which you must read, please. This book, for anyone who's been touched by cancer, will most likely astound you, as it did me. I am a virgin when it comes to cancer books. And I'm not sure how many more I'll want to read. Because this one so directly mirrors and illuminates what I've recently gone through. Jessica is a pretty, nice, well-educated, funny, smart, Jewish television writer. Her family is mildly eccentric in the same way that many Jewish families are and her mother and grandmother were major fashion plates. Her dad is an attorney. She has the BRCA gene. Naturally this book hits very close to home for me and my family. Mom is now reading it at rapid speed. Brother will probably read it, while dad remains oblivious as per usual. He's got very odd reading habits.

It's a book that could literally save your life, a friend or family member's life. I especially want my girlfriends with family histories to get tested (you ladies know who you are), but it's obviously an intense issue. This book manages to be a funny, touching personal memoir that's also very informative. Sure, I had statistics thrown at me left and right, but I glossed over them. When I read Jessica writing about them, I began listening again. And, I'll be honest with you, the stats are really. Fucking. Scary. If you are BRCA positive, you have an 87% chance of developing breast cancer. BRCA negative women--meaning everyone else--still have a 1 in 10 chance of developing breast cancer. Think about that. One out of every 10 of your female friends will get breast cancer. Likely more than that if most of your girls are Jewish. Read Jessica's book for all the deets; my mom is reading it in bed right now so I can't get to it. This genetic testing stuff is really just too crazy for words.

But I'm tired. And my hair is growing back very strangely. Wah.